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The American Crisis, Number I [-III]. By the Author of Common Sense [caption titles]
[Philadelphia 1777 - (8 1/8 x 5 inches). 54pp., plus the final blank leaf (G4). Uncut and unopened. Stitched as issued. Housed in a full blue morocco box "These are the times that try men's souls" -- a near mint example of the first three numbers of Paine's the American Crisis. The first number of the American Crisis was issued by Paine in December, 1776 to help rejuvenate the patriot cause among the dispirited American soldiers after the defeats on Long Island and the loss of New York, and before Washington's victory at Trenton on Christmas, 1776 provided a ray of military hope. The publication proved an important boost to the morale of the American army, and later numbers soon followed (a total of thirteen parts plus two supernumerary issues were eventually issued, but only the first five were ever issued in separate pamphlet form, the later numbers making their debut in newspapers). "Washington was so impressed that he ordered it read to all the troops at Valley Forge, and this pamphlet was carried in the pockets of the officers, even during bloody engagements." (Gimbel). There are three different issues of The American Crisis printed in Philadelphia, all of which are extremely rare. Two of these were printed by the firm Styner & Cist (one with imprint, the other without), and the present issue by an unidentified printer. No priority is established between these different issues, but it would be surprising if Paine went first to Styner & Cist, who had printed a pirated edition of Common Sense without his permission. Furthermore, in later correspondence, Paine does not name the printer of The American Crisis, but refers to them throughout in the singular. As John Dunlap, the printer of the Declaration of Independence, was one of the few printers then at work in Philadelphia, and did another Paine publication a few months later in Lancaster, he may well be the printer of this issue. The North American Imprints Project locates eight copies of this issue (MH-H, MWA, NNC, PPAmP, MHi, MiU-C, RPJCB, and BL). An extraordinary Revolutionary document, here in superlatively fine condition, perhaps the only extant example entirely uncut and unopened. Shipton & Mooney 43325; Bristol B4551; NAIP W031715; Gimbel 18,19,20; Evans 14953,15493,15494; Howes P16; Sabin 58206.
      [Bookseller: Donald A. Heald Rare Books (ABAA)]
Last Found On: 2015-10-11           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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